Hazlehurst was established in 1870 as a rail town. Under the direction of Colonel George Hall Hazlehurst, the men of the Macon and Brunswick Railroad—it was also called the Central of Georgia Railroad—began chiseling the rail line southward from Macon, while at the same time workers from Brunswick carved the line northward. At the point where the two lines met, almost exactly halfway between the two cities, a depot sprang up and was first christened Mile Post 8—some called it Mile Post 8-1/2—but would soon be named after Colonel Hazlehurst.
Colonel George Hall Hazlehurst
Colonel Hazlehurst’s had many accomplishments but one of his most important works was locating and building the New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad in Mississippi. With support from both Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln, he was commissioned by the State of Illinois in 1851 to begin work to connect Chicago and New Orleans. Just before he was appointed to the job, he learned his predecessor on that same project had died of yellow fever. Despite the knowledge that the mission could be dangerous, even life-threatening with disease such as yellow fever, he completed the assignment just prior to the Civil War. The railroad then, only by circumstance of war became vital to the Confederacy, who used it to transport troops and supplies. Riding on the rails of that victory, Colonel Hazlehurst was named president of the Macon and Augusta Railroad, and then president and chief engineer of the Macon and Brunswick Railroad. For more about Colonel Hazlehurst's life check out https://www.hazlehurstga.gov/ColonelHazlehurst.aspx
Georgia Power Company
In the late 1960s, Georgia Power Company entered the nuclear power era by constructing its first nuclear powered electric generating plant on a site about fifteen miles northeast of Hazlehurst on the Altamaha River in Appling County, just below the confluence of the Ocmulgee and Oconee Rivers. Thousands of skilled workers flocked to the area to construct the huge Edwin I. Hatch Nuclear Power Plant over 10 year period. Many stayed to take permanant jobs in the area, greatly increasing the labor market. The project helped Jeff Davis County grow over the next decades.
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